Friday, September 29, 2006

20,000 participate in youth hunt

Now this is a great story about the great outdoors. From the Grand Rapids Press

20,000 participate in youth hunt
Friday, September 29, 2006
By Howard Meyerson
Press Outdoors Editor

When Matt Spaans went out to hunt his first deer last Saturday, the opening day of Michigan's two-day youth deer hunt, his father faced more than a few surprises.

The two were sitting in an elevated shooting shack when three does wandered by followed by a five-point buck. The male stopped and turned broadside, just 30 yards away, presenting the young hunter with an ideal target.

The rest of the article is good reading as well. One of the gifts of living in Michigan is being close to the wilderness and some of the best hunting grounds East of the Rockies.

All we need are hogs and mule deer here, and it'd be perfect.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Jim Marcinkowski interviews and lays another egg

Recently, Jim Marcinkowski had an interview with Burl Schwartz of the Lansing City Pulse on an East Lansing Radio station. I’m not sure if it was Impact or the Edge, but it was one of those. I was just given a transcript of the interview and am posting excerpts of that here. Jim once again does not answer questions well, similar to his interview with the leftist Booman Tribune blog.

BS – Burl Schwartz
JM – Jim Marcinkowski

BS: How are Democrats taking to you given that up until 2000 you were a Republican?
JM: Well I don’t know at what point I switched exactly.
BS: Well didn’t you run for a township office in 2000?
JM: Yeah I was put up by the slate because of a political battle we were going on and I did not put enough effort into it. It was kind of a neighborhood ground support. It was a small position but I wasn’t really that into it.
BS: Was that a slate of Republicans or a non-partisan ticket?
JM: I don’t know. I was thinking that was, I really couldn’t tell you. Well Republican or Democrat it doesn’t really matter here. I just think that the Republicans have become very radical and that the middle class just cannot connect with them anymore. If you look at their disasters on international relations such as the war on terrorism and the economic policies that are affecting the jobs here, it’s not working. You look at those policies and you see what’s really important for the country and partisanship becomes secondary.

This is horse manure, Jim. Either you are a LIAR, have a really bad memory, need to retake a civics class, need to read a ballot, or as I suspect - all of the above. Orion Township is solidly republican. You were not on a slate, since the winner of the primary has an easy ride to election there. You ran and finished dead last in the Republican primary. It was a partisan primary in August as all township offices are. As for the Republicans becoming radical, that’s even more horse manure. 1994’s Republicans were much more conservative than today’s crowd.

BS: You’re running against a well-moneyed candidate. How are you doing in fundraising and try to be specific with me if you can.
JM: We’re doing better than any challenger in the State of Michigan. We’ve probably gotten around four times as much money together as the last couple sets of challengers against Mike Rogers. Of course, as you indicated, he is well-oiled monetarily, he’s a machine, and where that comes from is a whole other story.
BS: Tell us that story later but how much money have you raised so far?
JM: We’re approaching some 400,000 dollars.
BS: And what do you think it’s going to take to beat Mike Rogers?
JM: Well I don’t think money is going to be the bottom line it’s going to be people on the ground. If we raise a million dollars, Mike will have raised two (million). If we raise two, he’ll raise four.
BS: Well aren’t you going to need a lot of money to run television commercials, which is really important?
JM: Well stand by, you’ll see in four days.
BS: And what are you going to be saying in it?
JM: Well bottom line is we’re going to hold Mike to his record and indicate what that record is as far as the impact on the State of Michigan.

Jim, why not tell us where YOU stand. I don’t need to hear why Mike supposedly sucks. What is Jim Marcinkowski’s plan? The truth is that there is no such thing. His only message is that “I’m a hanger on of Joe Wilson, vote for me!!”

BS: And what part of his record?
JM: We’ll be talking about gasoline profits, record oil profits and I’m sure a lot of people know that in fact the oil industry was handed a multi-billion dollar tax relief within the last year. They’re making record profits, we’re paying record prices, and Exxon Mobil recorded profits last quarter of 1328 dollars per second. And you got to remember when you pull up to the pump that Exxon Mobil is making 1328 dollars per second.
BS: That’s an impressive number.
JM: I don’t think they need a tax break what do you think?

What are you going to do about it, Jim?

BS: Jim on another topic, the Republicans have accused you of being a flip-flop on abortion. They say that when you were a Republican running for the state legislature you were strongly anti-abortion and now they say you’re pro-choice. Are they right?
JM: Well I don’t think it’s a flip-flop that’s changing their own position. I’ll give you an example. I don’t think anybody when you start out, I mean no one likes abortion, alright, I think that’s just a given. It’s something that’s sought and I don’t think it’s something anybody seeks unless they find themselves in a particular situation that they can’t get themselves out of. That being said back in the ‘80s and ‘90s if you recall the fight you know was over abortion. What’s happened with that movement and it’s become very extreme and the debate today revolves around contraception and that whole debate has changed. The bottom line is you see more legislative action being proposed that would ban contraception and it seems to me that when the debate moves to such an extreme, it is a clear signal to me that the government now needs to get out of that question altogether and let individuals decide. The bottom line is that the movement has become very extreme going now in attempt to regulate contraception and because of that extremism that signals that the government needs to get out of that decision making altogether.

Jim, I know you have to kiss the ring of Emily’s List and NOW to get any support among democrats, but this is ridiculous. The fight over abortion today is the same as it was then, and every year since 1973 when 7 tyrants in black robes led by Harry Blackmun disregarded the constitution and created law that did not exist thanks to Doe v Bolton and Roe v Wade. The problems are Roe V Wade, Planned Parenthood v Casey, and Stenberg v Carhart. It has not changed since then, despite what you say.

BS: But also to get out of it in the sense of undoing Roe v. Wade or keeping Roe v. Wade?
JM: Roe v. Wade is a law of the land and that’s going to be up to the court to decide. What I mean to say is that the argument when you look at the abortion area we’re talking about restricting stem cell research, making contraceptives harder to get at, we’ve had debates going on for years about the morning after pill. It all tells me that this movement has become such an extreme movement that they’re stepping into an area they don’t belong in and the only way we’re going to end it is if they listen. Those are the kinds of decisions that should be made by the individual. The government shouldn’t be involved at all, therefore you should have your own personal choices.

So you support 9 month abortions? Sounds like it from what you said. And as for stem cell research, the fight at the federal level is over FEDERAL FUNDING of EMBRYONIC stem cell research. Stem cell research isn’t controversial at all.

BS: Jim, do you think that the Supreme Court should continue to support Roe v. Wade?
JM: Well it’s been the law of the land since 1973. Seems to me that most people don’t really have a problem with Roe v. Wade; it doesn’t prohibit abortion, simply restricts abortion. I think your average citizen out there doesn’t really have an issue with Roe v. Wade and it’s one of those issues that should really go back to the individuals and we don’t really need to change the constitution and its individual choice.

Jim, again you said a lot, but didn’t answer the question.

BS: Finally, Jim, in City Pulse this week, you were quoted as saying you were opposed to gay marriage, why is that?
JM: Well I don’t think it’s an issue that should be decided by the Congress on.
BS: Well I’m not asking whether Congress should decide or not but you were asked whether you were for or against gay marriage. You said you were against gay marriage, why?
JM: Well I don’t think it should be decided by the Congress.
BS: Jim! I’m not asking you what Congress is doing. I am asking you why you’re against gay marriage.
JM: Well I have to represent everybody within a district and I think that there is mainstream thought here that perhaps we ought to have something along the lines of civil unions and not have gay marriage but provide the rights the people need to have a family.

This shows that Jim Marcinkowski is full of so much horse manure that his eyes are turning brown. Why not simply be honest and say why you oppose it?

This guy's a joke. After all the hype, I think Mike's going to have a much easier race than expected.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Are Democrats Seeking Voter Fraud?

Article From Human Events Online.

Last fall, the non-partisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by former president Jimmy Carter, recommended a proposal to ensure voting integrity in federal elections . . . :

“To insure that persons presenting themselves at the polling place are the ones on the registration list, the commission recommends that states require voters to use the REAL ID card, which was mandated in a law signed by the President in May 2005,” said the commission. “The card includes a person’s full legal name, date of birth, a signature (captured as a digital image), a photograph and the person’s Social Security number. This card should be modestly adapted for voting purposes to indicate on the front or back whether the individual is a U.S. citizen.” . . .

Good so far. Most of the Democrats on the Commission seem to understand that for elections to have integrity, voters should be required to show a government issued ID card containing proof of citizenship.

On September 20, 2006 legislation came up before the House to implement this recommendation.

"House International Relations Chairman Henry Hyde (R.-Ill.) sponsored the Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006 (H.R. 4844) to do exactly what the commission recommended. In 2008, it would require voters in federal elections to present a government-issued photo ID when they vote. In 2010, it would require them to present the REAL ID card, modified as suggested by the Carter-Baker commission to show whether or not the holder is a citizen."

To eliminate the "poll tax" argument, this bill requires states to issue the ID to poor people for FREE (states to be reimbursed by the federal government.) The bill also allows voters who forget their ID card to cast a provisional ballot which would be counted as long as the voter returns with the valid ID within 48 hours. Keeping in mind that senior citizens, sick and disabled voters, and travelers out of town on election day are already allowed to cast absentee ballots, this bill is very reasonable. Yet when it came up for vote, it passed largely along party lines with only 4 Democrats voting for it.

Four Democrats? After years of screaming and hollering about how elections in the U.S. are supposedly corrupt, only four Democrats are able to work up the courage to vote for this long overdue reform? What are they afraid of, that they won't be able to win any elections once illegal aliens and dead people are prohibited from voting?


Hey anti-hunters. Go back to the city.

I didn't think this kind of sneering was invading Brighton, but with the cityfolk moving out this way, it's bound to happen. Newsflash to this guy. Livingston County has a lot of hunters so this is news since it is not every day that one gets a moose. If you don't like it, Ann Arbor is just down the road. I suspect this guy is one of those types who feeds the bears at Yellowstone as well.

From the Argus

was sickened by a front-page story in your Sept. 22-23 issue: "The Big Game."
What's so newsworthy about a man killing such a beautiful animal? He also brags about killing a 350-pound black bear.

I realize that hunting is a "sport" and there are times when the herd should be "thinned out," but when you look at that beautiful moose, you wonder why it should be killed. I'm sure that the Yukon is not overcrowded with moose.

I don't see that it's such a big story that it deserves front-page coverage. Maybe the Daily Press & Argus is running out of "positive" news to print.

I've never had moose, but I've had elk before, and it is some of the best venison I've ever had. It's great eating. I don't have a problem with individuals who choose not to hunt. My problem is with anti-hunters who think food is magically created at the supermarket, eat meat, and bash hunting. I don't always agree with Ted Nugent, but he is right when he says. "You can't grill it till you kill it."

Nature needs to be respected, and for more than just its beauty.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Finally some Conservative Leadership?

Mike Pence may be making a run for leadership after this election. He can bring some fiscal sanity to the house.

From Hotline


Associates and GOP staffers say that Rep. Mike Pence has designs on a senior leadership position in the House regardless of whether Republicans keep control of the House. Remember that he shrugged off pressure from House conservatives to run in November. It just wasn't his time. But now -- it might be. Another insurgent, Rep. John Shadegg, also publicly dipped his golden toe in the water two weeks ago by making sure that his fundraising efforts on behalf of Republican candidates were picked up by the publications that cover Capitol Hill.

Go Tigers

It's been a long time. Last time the Tigers made the playoffs, Reagan was president, the Red Wings had a 32 yr Cup drought, The Pistons were struggling to beat the Celtics in Boston, The Lions "only" had a 30 year championship drought, and I Latson/Grand River, the NW end of Challis/Grand River, and mand of these subdivisions that are around today all were still undeveloped.

Tigers 11, Royals 4
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Detroit Tigers had a 220-bottle champagne celebration Sunday and they hope to have even a bigger one later this week.

The Tigers fought off their late-season slump and clinched their first playoff berth since 1987, scoring nine runs in the second inning Sunday and coasting to an 11-4 win over the Kansas City Royals.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Accidents galore at Green Oak Roundabout

And I thought driving by Brighton High School at 2:30PM was bad.
What a zoo - from the Argus

Fifth accident at double roundabout site

Police said there was a minor accident this morning at the controversial new double roundabout in Green Oak Township. It's the fifth recorded accident since the controversial system of traffice circles opened last month. All have been relatively minor, say police, and all have been caused by a failure to yield.

Commiefornia AG needs to get fired

From the AP

I hope Lockyear is forced to pay for this frivolous trash out of his own pocket.

California AG sues automakers over vehicle emissions
9/21/2006, 7:30 a.m. ET
The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is suing the auto industry over tailpipe emissions, marking the first time a state has sought monetary damages for the impact of global warming by vehicles.

Attorney General Bill Lockyer on Wednesday sued the six largest U.S. and Japanese automakers, claiming they have causing millions of dollars in damage by creating greenhouse gases.

Lockyer is suing on the theory that greenhouse gases are a "public nuisance" under both California and federal law, an argument similar to one being pursued in a case before the 2nd U.S. District Court of Appeals in New York.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

And Nero fiddled while Rome burned . . .

The August unemployment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics are out.

U.S. unemployment rate: 4.7%
Michigan rate: 7.1%

Michigan is tied with Mississippi for the highest unemployment rate. It could be a lot worse too. Nearly all of the folks losing their jobs from the "Big 3" are taking early retirement or special termination packages and are not included in the unemployment rate. Imagine what the unemployment rate would be had they been laid off instead . . .

The only winners in this crisis are the moving companies struggling to keep up with the demand from job seekers moving out of Michigan.

And what has Granholm been doing during the 4 years this crisis has been developing? (Besides twiddling her thumbs) Cool Cities. Cool Cities? Someone needs to tell Granholm that cities with high unemployment rates are NOT cool!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

47% all

Latest poll - 47% Granholm, 47% DeVos
It's anyone's game still.

Welcome Keith Richards

With my limited time updating this blog due to law school and moving (finally finished), I'd like to welcome Keith Richards to the team. Keith is a long time commenter who has been promoted. He'll add much to the articles here, and will contribute much to this site.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Minimal revenue from new Green Oak mall

Remember how the Green Oak Township board voted to upgrade to Charter Township status in order to keep the City of Brighton from annexing the site of the proposed mall, thereby gaining all the new tax revenue?
According to an article in the 9-18-06 Argus, the new $100 million dollar mall will not benefit Brighton schools and will provide little extra revenue to Green Oak Township.
"With its nonhomestead tax rate of 18 mills, the district could be looking at almost $1 million in new tax revenue from the mall. However, Brighton Superintendent Jim Craig said the mall won't boost the district's revenue that much because the state will reduce its contribution by whatever new tax revenue is generated by the mall."
Fair enough, since the new mall won't create any additional burden for the school district. However,
"St. Charles said the Green Oak Township Police Department will receive an estimated $76,000 in new revenue yearly. The Fire Department would see $70,000, and the township general operating fund would get about $40,000 in new revenue."
A major mall like this will generate frequent calls to the police and fire department, to cover both the mall itself plus problems from the additional traffic. The additional tax revenue won't even pay for the cost of adding 1 additional person to each department by the time the cost of training, equipment, and benefits is added in. The township gets an extra $40,000 per year, but how much will it cost to provide maintenance for and make improvements to area roads in order to accommodate increased traffic?
This hardly seems like a tax boon for the township. If this article is correct, at best the mall is break even and it could end up being a tax liability for the township. Is this information accurate and complete, or are we missing something?

Crosstown Trail project gets state grant

The Detroit News reports that the State of Michigan has stepped in to help build a walking/biking trail along M-59:

The city and township will begin constructing a portion of the long awaited Crosstown Trail project next year thanks to a nearly $455,000 transportation enhancement grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation.
The trail is included in the $2.3 million project to widen M-59 next year, said state Rep. Joe Hune R-Hamburg, who announced the grant Thursday.

Thank You, Joe Hune! Exercise paths like this should be built anytime busy roads are paved or reconstructed, because the additional cost is minimal if done as part of a road project. M-59 is a good start. It would be great to see paths along other major routes, notably Grand River, old US-23 from Whitmore Lake to Hartland, D-19, and M-36.

Why? Because a large portion of our population does not get enough exercise and is growing fat. In coming decades this will add tens of billions of dollars to health care costs in Michigan alone. We can't make people exercise but we can provide more opportunities for people who wish to do so.

What about the cost? Sometimes it is tough to justify the cost of projects like this. But this is really a "pay me now or pay me later" situation. In the long run, if paths like these help even a few people get exercise and lose weight, the cost of laying pavement will be dwarfed by healthcare cost savings. Also, these paths make Livingston County a much more attractive place to live and will ultimately raise property values, benefiting homeowners both while they live here and when they eventually sell.

Government isn't trust. In other news the Pope is still Catholic

and bears dump in the woods.

From the Lansing State Journal

But a new report out of Michigan State University shows they do have plenty of reasons to worry about their jobs; man-made reasons.

For starters, mentioning the government in any evacuation order will make Michiganians less likely to comply with it.


That's just one fascinating and disturbing finding in a poll conducted through MSU's Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (

The survey sought to identify Michigan attitudes toward emergency evacuation orders, with some respondents first prompted by reminders of 2005's destructive hurricanes.

If you are a disaster-response official, the best news is that 69 percent of all respondents said they were "very likely" to comply with an evacuation order.

From there, though, it gets murky.

Researchers found attitudes toward evacuation shifted along with government involvement. The best response came with an evacuation order that made no mention of any government agency. Likely compliance rates dropped with each successive level of government, with the mention of the Federal Emergency Management Agency getting the worst response.

If the #@%@ hits the fan, I certainly won't be counting on government. Government isn't competent, nor trustworthy enough to get the job done.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

NRCC wastes money in losing effort

The NRCC jumped into the open primary and received a professional butt kicking in response. This was a monumentum waste of money that could have been spent elsewhere where it is needed.

From the AP

Arizona GOP primary won by conservative
9/13/2006, 5:53 a.m. ET
The Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Former state lawmaker Randy Graf won the GOP primary for an open U.S. House seat despite lobbying from the National Republican Congressional Committee against his candidacy.

His closet rival, state Rep. Steve Huffman, received a late-campaign boost from the committee, which in a rare move broke its neutrality in a primary race by spending more than $122,000 on TV ads on his behalf. Party officials had expressed concerns Graf may be too conservative to win the seat in November.

But that move prompted a local Republican backlash, drawing a joint letter and a joint news conference in Washington by Huffman's four GOP opponents expressing their "unified outrage" at the national committee.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"You suck" is not a valid campaign message

Carl Levin recently had a bashfest down in Berrien County. Michael C. Guilmette of the Niles Daily Star had a good editorial on the matter.

The old adage, 'You can attract more flies with honey than you can with vinegar,' would have been good advice for Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., to follow when he visited Niles last Friday. But, he didn't.

Instead, Michigan's longest-serving senator chose to throw barbs and spit venom at whatever displeased him.

Granted, he has his reasons for being upset. His party isn't in power in the U.S. Senate and, except for a brief period in 2001 and 2002, hasn't been in power since 1994 - one of the longest stretches in the last 50 years. Republicans also control the House, and in the White House sits a man who Levin truly seems to despise - President George W. Bush.

Levin's animosity was obvious. Using colorful language, Levin made his feelings well known while he was speaking at the American Legion hall, ranting about the Bush administration, U.S. involvement in Iraq and the GOP prescription drug plan. He even took pot-shots at Michigan Republican candidates.

These tactics may resonate inside the Beltway, but out here in the proverbial sticks, not so much.

Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to see our politicians - particularly one of our federal senators - show up in our humble little town. But with his ample criticism, I would have really liked to have heard just what Levin thinks should be done in the alternative - aside from simply voting Republicans out of office.

"You suck" is not a valid campaign message. It is also all the democrats have had to offer since 2000. For a clear example of that, take a look at Mike McGonegal's campaign against Chris Ward or Jim Marcinkowski's campaign against Mike Rogers. The only campaign message I've seen from those two is how bad the other guy sucks. Where's the plan?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Bad news - Stop Overspending Proposal is DOA

Bad news. My top ballot issue is DOA. This is a major defeat for fiscal conservatism. From the AP.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan elections board on Friday voted against putting a measure on the November ballot that would limit state government spending, agreeing that backers did not collect enough valid signatures.

The bipartisan Board of State Canvassers' 4-0 vote came after state election officials estimated the Michigan Stop Overspending Committee fell about 20,000 valid signatures short of the 317,757 needed for the proposed constitutional amendment to go before voters.

We need to try again for 08.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

NRCC jumps in open primary instead of supporting Republicans over Democrats

This can also be titled why Campaign Committees will never receive a dime from me. It's also a reason why the best donations are to individual candidates. That way, I know I won't be spending money on attack ads on republicans (unless I choose who is attacked).

Last October, I took Liddy Dole to task due to the NRSC's spending $125000+ in negative ads against otherRepublicans. I followed up on that in February as well.

Unfortunately, the NRCC is involved in the coronation process as well, this time in an open house race in Arizona. From the AP

The National Republican Congressional Committee last week backed a candidate in the primary, launching a $122,000 advertising campaign for state Rep. Steve Huffman. The party contends Huffman is a moderate candidate who could win the district in November.

On Tuesday, Huffman's four GOP opponents took the unusual step of holding a joint news conference and delivering a message to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

"Stay the hell out of southern Arizona," said Mike Hellon, one of the candidates and a former state party chairman, in an interview following the news conference.

The four contend the NRCC had split the party, handing an advantage to the Democrats. They urged the NRCC to pull its ads and stay quiet until after the Sept. 12 primary.

"This is the granddaddy of unintended consequences," Hellon said in the interview. "They're idiots."

Mike's right. They are idiots. We have several tough seats this election, as in every election, and these idiots are wasting money in a primary. They already dumped money into the Joe Schwarz campaign, and we know how that turned out. My question for the NRCC and NRSC is as follows. "Is it an old boys network, or are your committees just the Peter Principle in action?"

With "Friends" like them, I don't need enemies. I don't think the DC establishment has learned enough of a lesson yet. Maybe a Randy Graf or Mike Hellon win there over the coronated Huffman will be some more good medicine to cure a chronic case of "Beltwayitis."


I apologize for the lack of updates here, but I've been as busy now as I've ever been in the past 30 years. I'm tied up in a lot of stuff currently. One of which is moving. As I now have to commute to Ann Arbor, I'm packing up and leaving town for Whitmore Lake (Green Oak Twp) this month. The best news for me is that I'm cutting my commute by 3/4 - probably more since I know all the back roads already to avoid the adventure known as US-23.

It's a start

From the AP

DETROIT (AP) — The average price of regular gasoline in the state has fallen more than 16 cents per gallon over the past week to levels not seen since mid-March, AAA Michigan said Tuesday.

The statewide average for self-serve unleaded is $2.60, which is 49 cents per gallon less than this time last year.

The Traverse City area had the most expensive gasoline of Michigan's metropolitan areas at $2.80 per gallon, but that was down 25 cents from a year ago, the auto club said.

I'd still like to see more domestic oil exploration, new refineries, research into biodiesel and other alternate fuels - and most of all - a giant middle finger to the Saudis.

Friday, September 01, 2006

"Walkability" plan for Howell a traffic nightmare

The Ann Arbor News has an article today about Howell and walkability. "The Pied Piper of Walkability", Dan Burden - has these recommendations for Howell to improve walkability. As someone who frequently walks and drives in Downtown Howell, these are my opinions on the matters.

1. Roundabouts

I never liked them. I don't care for them at MSU, cared for them less in Okemos, and really think they are bad for Brighton and Green Oak. The problem with them is that the only ones who know how to use them (and even that's debatable) are MSU students and graduates.

2. Reduce and narrowing lanes

All I have to say about this is to drive on D-19 near Mason around 5PM - Or Grand River near Chilson for that matter. This is a disaster.

3. Back in angle parking

I can go along with this.

4. Bumpouts to reduce parking near intersections

I support this since turning right from the alley between the Courthouse and DQ is a nightmare.

5. Bicycle lanes

I like the old days when bikes were ridden on sidewalks.

6. Pedestrian refuges

We'll see what happens here.

Burden says Howell has the opportunity to become a regional trend-setter with the proposed changes. "I think this is going to be total cutting-edge,'' he says. "You will become a model for the Midwest if developed as planned.''

Forget cutting edge or being cool. I prefer Mayberry. Some of these are good ideas, but reducing lanes and narrowing streets is going to make a traffic problem worse.

Agreement on Canadian Trash? Not so fast.

Supposedly, "Dangerously Incompetent" Debbie Stabenow(Passed one law in 10 years) and Carl Levin made a deal with Ontario halting Canadian Trash shipments to Michigan by 2010.

From the Detroit News

However, the Associated Press reported that Ontario officials estimate that the non-municipal waste not covered by the deal -- industrial and commercial waste and refuse generated at construction sites --accounts for more than half of the nearly 4 million metric tons of Canadian trash entering Michigan annually.

Levin said he believes the amount of such non-municipal waste is actually smaller. The senator's press office said a final figure on how much industrial-type trash will still enter the state's landfills will be clarified later.

The deal sets a clear timetable and commitment to stop municipal trash shipments. But even before mounting pressure in Congress and the Michigan legislature, Toronto officials had said they hoped to end their shipments by 2010.

Under the deal, Ontario is to reduce its municipal trash shipments by 20 percent by Dec. 31, 2007. Then, by the following year, it must reduce an additional 20 percent. All the municipal trash hauling would end Dec. 31, 2010. The timetable was based on when contracts were due to expire for the trash being hauled from Ontario municipalities

This only covers municipal wastes from Toronto. The one really doing real work on this is Mike Rogers. When Stabenow talked, he acted.

The bill that is scheduled to be voted on in the U.S. House Wednesday -- which is co-authored by U.S. Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, and John Dingell, D-Dearborn -- would give states authority over trash imported from foreign countries and require the U.S. government to make Canada notify it each time it sends in a trash truck.

Stabenow and Levin introduced a similar bill, but its chances of Senate are considered slim.

"We don't think this agreement is legally binding," said Sylvia Warner, press secretary to Rogers. "And we think it's more important that the people of Michigan are the ones making the decisions about their own landfill."

Meanwhile, Republican Mike Bouchard, who is challenging the freshman Stabenow in the November elections, dismissed the deal as "an election year promise from a Canadian bureaucrat."

Environmental ministry spokeswoman Kate Jordan said the deal was prompted by fears that if the Rogers-Dingell bill became law, Michigan could stop all trash shipments within 90 days.

"Our garbage trucks could have been turned back from the border as early as January 2007," said Jordan. "We needed to find a solution to avert that."